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Senate Nears Spending Bill Vote; Shutdown Still Looms

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The Senate is poised to vote late Monday afternoon on a government spending bill before the government’s fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, but with the House on recess a government shutdown is possible.

The Senate on Friday rejected the House passed continuing resolution, 58-36, because of offsets the House added to the bill to pay for $3.65 billion in disaster relief. The House resolution funded the government until Nov. 18.

Members of the House left for a weeklong recess on Friday and no votes are scheduled until Oct. 3, which means there could be at least a three-day shutdown of the government, as funding authorization runs out at midnight on Sept. 30. The House is not scheduled to resume work until Monday evening.

The Senate and House are at odds over how much funds to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in desperate need of cash.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that the House resolution was “not an honest effort at compromise” because it “fails to provide the relief that our fellow Americans need as they struggle to rebuild their lives in the wake of floods, wildfires and hurricanes, and it will be rejected by the Senate.” 

Reid went on to say that the “clear solution” is the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate which provides a $6.9 billion earmark for replenishing FEMA.

FEMA, Reid said, “could run out of money as soon as Monday. People who need help will not get it. We cannot allow that to happen. House Republicans should stop playing political games, and pass the Senate’s bipartisan bill without delay.”


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